Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Like Christmas!! or could also be titled What I Found Under the Couch This Morning....

Today I vacuumed under the couch and it has been a while!!!......I don't want to sound like a complete slob but I will admit to about 2 -3 weeks since I have moved the couch to vacuum.  And when you have hardwood floors like we do it is amazing what you can find under there when you finally do move it!  Seriously, it was like the kids suddenly got new toys...lost match box cars, a ball, a missing part to a construction set all of this amidst some serious dust bunnies, a couple raisins and a few chocolate cheerios.  My take a way for the day.....don't move the couch every time you vacuum and in a few weeks your kids will love you for it when they have "brand new" toys to play with!  Have a great Friday!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

An Epiphany!

Today I woke up with a load off my see, last night (o.k. early morning) I had a conversation with God. I am one of those people (and there are a lot of us) that has a very hard time going back to sleep once awake No MATTER WHAT TIME THEY ARE AWOKEN.   5am is doable....2am not as much.  Early morning tends to be my time to feel any anxiety if I am worried about something.  I have had a few of these conversations with God over the years.  In fact,  I can count 5 of them right off the top of my head.  Sometimes before I feel the peace I am seeking there are great, gulping tears and lots of hair pulling (ok maybe I am exaggerating a little here....maybe!) and I ask big questions like "Why me?" or "What now?"  and I usually end up exhausted and just whisper "Please help."   And sometimes I have felt this instant clarity and the knowledge re: what to do is just there.   Every time I have had one  of these conversations with God and the resulting epiphany, things have turned out ok. In fact they have turned out better than ok.  I have learned over the years to trust these feelings because they are real and I am so grateful that I have been able to experience them in my times of self-doubt or anger or_____(insert negative emotion here). I have had worries resolved (like last night's conversation), I have had feelings of anger released with forgiveness taking it's place, I have suddenly just known that I was going to have a baby (after years of struggling, with the resulting anguish, to have one.).  I know everyone has their struggles and a lot, if not most, of the time no one but the person struggling is aware of their private dilemma.  I am curious as to what other people have felt. What journey have you taken to get to the place in your heart where you are at peace with a situation that has been causing you heartfelt stress?  If you feel comfortable with doing so please share.  I love hearing about other people's journeys and their growth experiences.  They are a source of inspiration to myself and others.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fun With Food---Take One

Here is my first attempt at making fun faces with food...I won't be winning awards any time soon for my food art buuuuuut I made my kids smile!  I will keep at this because the food art out there is so amazing and I want to get better......hope my kids are up to my experiments :) 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Save Time and Money With Monthly Meal Planning

Our monthly meal's not pretty but it works!
I will start out by saying that monthly meal planning does take some work but it will save you TIME and MONEY.  The saving money part is because the less time you physically spend in a grocery store each month equals less money you will spend at said grocery store.  Following your plan will also cut down on the food you end up throwing away and wasting. The time part is because after you complete your monthly meal plan you will no longer face the "What's for breakfast, lunch, dinner?" dilemma!  We have been planning our meals using a monthly system for several years now and I have streamlined our planning to fit our family. Here are some ideas that you can use to start creating a plan for your own family.

My favorite tips:

Designate a night each week for a certain dish that you will enjoy each week.  For example, every Tuesday is pasta night, every Wednesday is soup night and every Friday is pizza night.  This may sound kind of ho hum for meal planning but think of all of the different pastas, soups and pizzas that you can your family will come to expect certain dishes on certain nights and there can be comfort in the routine.

The crock pot is your friend.  Cook a whole chicken in it for a delicious meal one night and use left overs for tacquitos the next night.  Cook a pot roast one night and wa-laa with left overs you have the beginning of shephard's pie the next night.  Nothing makes coming home after a busy day away than the welcoming smell of a meal prepared in a crock pot.  This makes for easy clean up too!!!

Create a master grocery list.  Put items that you always buy on it and leave a little room for misc. items that are special to that months meals.  Print one out at the beginning of each month and start circling or highlighting items that you will need to purchase at your next big grocery visit.  This is the beginning of your monthly grocery list.

Each weekend look ahead at your meal plan and see what perishables (fruits, vegetables, dairy) that you will need for that week's meals.  This will make your trip to the grocery a dash in and dash out kind of  trip and sometimes you may not need to go at may be able to rely on canned or frozen produce depending on what meals you have planned and how stocked your pantry is. 

I happen to love magazines and I subscribe to a few foodie ones....they give me ideas for meals that are fun and new to try.  This keeps my recipe rotation exciting for my family to enjoy.  My favorite magazines are Taste of Home and Taste of Home Simple and Delicious.  I also love going to different websites and checking out recipes when I have time.  I really enjoy The Pioneer Woman's website at and All Recipes at   

Include your kids in your meal planning when you can.  I usually ask my kids what their favorite breakfast is (pancakes!) and always include what they say somewhere in the month's meals.  They enjoy having input and I figure it is step one in teaching them how to plan for their own families someday.